Aim: The present study investigates the effect of signal degradation on perceived listening effort in children with hearing loss listening in a simulated class-room context. It also examines the associations between perceived listening effort, passage comprehension performance and executive functioning. Methods: Twenty-four children (aged 06:03–13:00 years) with hearing impairment using cochlear implant (CI) and/or hearing aids (HA) participated. The children made ratings of perceived listening effort after completing an auditory passage comprehension task. All children performed the task in four different listening conditions: listening to a typical (i.e. normal) voice in quiet, to a dysphonic voice in quiet, to a typical voice in background noise and to a dysphonic voice in background noise. In addition, the children completed a task assessing executive function. Results: Both voice quality and background noise increased perceived listening effort in children with CI/HA, but no interaction with executive function was seen. Conclusion: Since increased listening effort seems to be a consequence of increased cognitive resource spending, it is likely that less resources will be available for these children not only to comprehend but also to learn in challenging listening environments such as classrooms.